Peter Bromhead: Forgetting to diet

Illustration / Peter Bromhead
Illustration / Peter Bromhead

I wonder what the late Robin Williams would have deduced from a recently released study that suggests links between obesity and dementia?

The actor was noted for his quotes. Sample: "God gave men both a penis and a brain, but unfortunately not enough blood supply to run both at the same time."

Doubtless he would have come up with a series of acerbic one-liners, such as "How many Big Macs do I have to consume, before I forget where I live?"

Researchers predict that the number of people in the world with dementia - Alzheimer's and vascular dementia - will double every 20 years. And the number of people in the world who are obese has roughly doubled over 30 years.

Having slipped from being beanpole slim to appearing more like Thomas the Tank Engine's fat controller, it's time I (a) took up exercise again, and (b) started a diet free of delicacies such as fish and chips and meat pies.

So far, I'm grateful that the only correlation I'm aware of, between my bloated gut and the onset of dementia, is a tendency to forget I'm married when socialising with young women at functions.

My usual procedure when contemplating an exercise and dietary regime is to start studying TV infomercials.

I'm not taken in by promises that in return for five minutes a day operating some dubious-looking gadget consisting of sliding platforms and expanding handgrips, I will lose fat rolls and end up with six-pack abs.

My priority with home gym equipment is simple: will the gizmo fit neatly under the bed, where I can quietly forget about its existence?

Luckily for me, just as I was half-heartedly considering the problems of excess weight and the possibility that my brain cells might be sliding down to my gut-line, along came another study this week proclaiming that rosemary oils and aroma can improve memory loss.

Reading the findings to the caregiver, I exclaimed, "See, Shakespeare knew a thing or two, when he wrote Hamlet, with Ophelia stating 'There's rosemary, that's for remembrance'."

By good fortune, the herb happens to be one of my favourite garden additions, planted not to improve my memory, but to make sure there is a plentiful supply to accompany my favourite lamb dish.

Now, at least, I can proclaim I'm on a balanced diet when I get stuck into the Sunday roast.

- NZ Herald

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